The 2010 Cyber Monday Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

The 2010 Cyber Monday Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

10 Items Chosen by The PhotoShelter Staff That Will Please a Photog and Balance a Budget

One really great thing about having a photographer on your holiday gift list – there is always something to buy. I’ve never met a photographer who didn’t have a list of gear that he/she intends to buy in the near future.

I took a poll of the photo nerds on the PhotoShelter staff (Mike, Chris, Allen, Marc, Andrew, Peter, Natalie, and myself) to find out what’s on their photo gear wish-list so I could assemble a gift guide that would suit any photographer and budget level.

If you’re looking for something cheap for your company’s Secret Santa grab-bag, a moderately-priced stocking-stuffer, or you want to be a gift-giving superhero – these PhotoShelter staff picks cover all the bases.

The 2010 Cyber Monday Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

(These items are listed price-order, starting with the least-expensive.)

1) Celestron Lenspen Optical Cleaning Tool

lenspen.jpg

Price: $7.95

Why this is cool:
This pen-shaped lens cleaning tool can be tossed into any camera bag, and contains a dust brush on one end. The other end contains a small carbon-charged microfiber cloth that is great for cleaning things like oily fingerprints from the surface of the lens. Much more effective and safer than they typical lens cleaning cloth that most photographers have been using for years.

2) Canon EF 24-105mm Lens 1:1 Coffee Mug Cuplens
cuplens.jpg Price: $10.99

Why this is cool:
This is a coffee cup that looks almost exactly like a Canon 24-105mm lens. It has a stainless steel interior that works with any drinkable liquids – hot or cold. Any photo geek will love this – especially a Canon user.

At first, we didn’t know if this item was actually for real. We thought it might have been a joke item. But after looking deeper, it appears that this item does exist in several locations, including Amazon. The link above will take you to the place were we found it for the cheapest price.

Just be sure that your photog doesn’t mistake this for a real lens! I have no idea if it is dishwasher-safe, but I do know that’s it’s a cool conversation-starter.

(Caution, if you are buying a gift for a Nikon fanboy/fangirl, don’t be offended if this item is re-gifted. :-) )


3) Lenscoat 3 Axis Hot Shoe Bubble Level

hot-shoe-bubble-level.jpg

Price: $29.95

Why this is cool:
This is a cool little accessory that allows you to level a camera on 3 planes, and it comes encased in a clear housing with green fluid. Slide this into the hot shoe of any standard 35mm SLR camera and you can be sure that you’ll always be on-the-level.

This is perfect for QTVR shooting sessions, landscapes, or any time a straight horizon is crucial. And I hear that level horizon lines are coming back into style!


4) Umbrella SOFTBOX – Creative Light 41″ Shoot Through Umbrella Translucent

umbrella-softbox_2.jpg

Price: $47.70

Why this is cool:
The best of both worlds in the lighting department – this combines the directional quality of an umbrella, with the softness and evenness of a softbox.

It’s a one step set-up solution for many different lighting situations. It’s easy to pack and take on the road, durable, and takes up less space than a standard softbox while shooting.

This is highly recommended for any photographer who finds themselves shooting on-location, especially portraits.

5) MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger
Price: $64.95

Why this is cool:
Photographers go through tons of batteries – and environmentally-responsible shooters are using rechargeable batteries. The problem with these types of batteries is the absolute chore involved with recharging them, and you never really know if all of the batteries are properly fully-charged.

battery-charger.jpg

This product makes the recharging process a breeze. It contains eight independent slots that charge one to eight AA or AAA batteries in any combination.

The MH-C800S charger incorporates a large LCD screen displaying the charging status of each battery. The soft charge delivers the highest battery life and allows 100% compatibility with older, lower capacity batteries. The fast charge allows eight batteries to be fully charged to their maximum capacity in around one to two hours!


6) Phottix Strato 2.4 GHz Wire/Wireless 4 in 1 Trigger

phottix.jpg

Price: $75.00 for a transmitter/receiver set

Why this is cool:
Get that flash off your camera! This cool product is a really easy-to-use 4-channel, 2.4 GHz transmitter and receiver whose signal can reach 100 meters (328 feet) and beyond. It runs on AAA batteries, and is small enough to fit into any camera bag.

You can use it as a wired or wireless shutter release, too.

Canon and Nikon versions are available and feature an innovative TTL pass through hot shoe on the transmitter and flash wake-up functions on the receiver.


7) Kubota Photoshop Actions

productiontools.jpg

Price: $109.00 & $179.00

Why this is cool:
Photoshop is a critical and powerful tool for photographers, but it can be overwhelming at times. The Kubota Photoshop Actions make using Photoshop quicker and easier. These are “the image enhancing tools of the Pros.” If you’re not 100% satisfied, the company says they will buy it back from you.

Some of our favorites are:

Kubota Production Tools V2 ($179.00)
Kubota Artistic Tools Viva La Vintage ($109.00)
Kubota Artistic Tools Pow Wow! ($109.00)


8) Think Tank Airport International 2.0

airport-intl.jpg

Price: $329.00

Why this is cool:
This is a really well-built camera bag on wheels. It will fit into the overhead compartment on most airlines, is large enough on the inside to fit a lot of gear. It’s rugged and can be dragged through the streets, up and over curbs and sidewalks, and still keeps working like the day you bought it. It also has a TSA-approved combination lock for added security.


9) Singh-Ray Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter
Price: $340 – $390

Why this is cool:

varixstack.gif

In the days of super fast lenses and sensitive digital SLR cameras, it can be difficult to get a shallow depth-of-field when shooting in the bright outdoors.

The Singh-Ray Vari-ND makes long exposures and selective focus easier, provides better close-up flash control, and offers 2 to 8 stops of added density.

It is available in 77mm standard and thin-mount rings ($340), and 82mm standard rings ($390).


10) Nikon 85mm f/1.4D IF AF Telephoto Nikkor Lens -or- Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM AutoFocus Telephoto Lens
Price: $1,189.95 (Nikon) & $1,840.00 (Canon)

nikon-canon-lenses.jpg


Why these are cool:
Both of these lenses are incredibly fast and sharp. Shooting them wide open gives a often-coveted shallow depth of field that keeps the subject/foreground in focus, while decreasing focus on the background. These lenses are ideal for portraits. The price tag for these lenses isn’t cheap, but the results can be priceless.


Don’t Forget…
Another great gift for any serious photographer is a PhotoShelter Standard Account, which you can try for only $1 for 14 days, and then just $29.99/month afterward. It comes with 10 customizable website themes, e-commerce, advanced SEO tools, ability to use your own domain name, social sharing tools, and more.

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